Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12(11), 7662-7691; doi:10.3390/ijms12117662
Review

Bioengineering Embryonic Stem Cell Microenvironments for the Study of Breast Cancer

College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering, University at Albany (SUNY), Albany, NY 12202, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 September 2011; in revised form: 27 October 2011 / Accepted: 31 October 2011 / Published: 8 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Programmable Materials for Mechanobiology)
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Abstract: Breast cancer is the most prevalent disease amongst women worldwide and metastasis is the main cause of death due to breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells and embryonic stem (ES) cells display similar characteristics. However, unlike metastatic breast cancer cells, ES cells are nonmalignant. Furthermore, embryonic microenvironments have the potential to convert metastatic breast cancer cells into a less invasive phenotype. The creation of in vitro embryonic microenvironments will enable better understanding of ES cell-breast cancer cell interactions, help elucidate tumorigenesis, and lead to the restriction of breast cancer metastasis. In this article, we will present the characteristics of breast cancer cells and ES cells as well as their microenvironments, importance of embryonic microenvironments in inhibiting tumorigenesis, convergence of tumorigenic and embryonic signaling pathways, and state of the art in bioengineering embryonic microenvironments for breast cancer research. Additionally, the potential application of bioengineered embryonic microenvironments for the prevention and treatment of invasive breast cancer will be discussed.
Keywords: stem cell; microenvironment; hydrogel; three-dimensional culture; breast cancer; metastasis; co-culture

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MDPI and ACS Style

Raof, N.A.; Mooney, B.M.; Xie, Y. Bioengineering Embryonic Stem Cell Microenvironments for the Study of Breast Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2011, 12, 7662-7691.

AMA Style

Raof NA, Mooney BM, Xie Y. Bioengineering Embryonic Stem Cell Microenvironments for the Study of Breast Cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2011; 12(11):7662-7691.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Raof, Nurazhani Abdul; Mooney, Bridget M.; Xie, Yubing. 2011. "Bioengineering Embryonic Stem Cell Microenvironments for the Study of Breast Cancer." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 12, no. 11: 7662-7691.

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